hough the state is a global tourist destination, it does not have enough infrastructure or amenities to retain tourists for a longer duration as such the authorities allowed setting up of casinos that would help the hoteliers retain tourists for longer period as well as it would generate some income for the state.
In order to prevent misuse of such facilities, the state authorities allowed only five-star and above category hotels to set up these “gaming” facilities so as to prevent the common man from squandering' his earnings.
Initially the operators were permitted to operate the casinos on payment of licence fee and they had to pay an annual recurring fee of us$ 1,000 for the mother machine and for every additional machine us$ 755,000 each. The casino operators are permitted to install as many as 20 machines in each property.
Though the casinos have been operating in the state for quite sometime, most of them were not brought under the ambit of taxation except for the fees mentioned above. It was only from September 2006 that the state started collecting entertainment and other taxes from them.
So far there are 10 casinos operating in the state including Caravela -- floating casino. The other nine are operated in Hotel Marriott, Advani Hotels-Varca, Cidade de Goa, Hotel Leela, Majorda Beach Resort, Chances, Holiday Inn, Bogmallo Beach Resort and Kennilworth-Utorda.
The commissioner of commercial taxes, Vallabh Kamat said that he has recently moved an amendment to the act so as to include most activities (including table games) in the casinos, including floating casino, under tax regime.
According to state officials, though the casinos have been permitted under Gambling Act by the state government, no gambling activities are being carried out by the operators.